Thank you for your interest in organizing a coat drive with One Warm Coat.

The need for coats is great, but thanks to the thousands of volunteers who hold coat drives each year, hundreds of thousands of children and adults in need receive coats each winter. No one should go cold!

Using this guide, you will determine:

  • When and where you will hold your drive
  • How you will promote your drive
  • Which nonprofit partner you will deliver your coats to

We will provide you with:

  • An email Welcome Packet
  • A personal coat drive web page to promote your drive and accept dollar donations
  • Access to many free tools and resources
  • Access to our Online Store
  • A database of 1,000+ nonprofit partners across the United States in need of coats

Follow 6 Easy Steps To Success

Follow the 6 easy steps below to make planning and holding your coat drive a breeze! Already know where you’re headed? Jump to Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, Step 5, Step 6

Step 1 – Plan Your Drive

You will choose the dates of your coat drive, the location or locations of your collection bins and if you are hosting the drive in honor of a special occasion.

A coat drive can last for any amount of time and can be held anytime of year. Most coat drives are held in the fall and winter months. However, our Nonprofit Partners love to receive coats BEFORE the cold weather sets in. Consider holding your drive in the summer and early fall months.

Many people organize coat drives around special events, some even ask for coat donations in lieu of gifts. Here are just some of the reasons our organizers have held a drive:

Spring Cleaning
Bar Mitzvah
Bat Mitzvah
Scout Activity
MLK Day of Service
Ugly Sweater Day
New Years
Block Party
Grand Opening

Company Event
Service Project
Community Impact
Casual Friday
Book Club
In Memory of
Cause Marketing
In-Store Sale

Back to School
Local Event
Corporate Challenge
Corporate Social Responsibility
Employee Engagement
Mother’s Day Fathers Day

Choose where your coat drive will take place and how many drop-off locations you will have. Many Ambassadors have coats dropped off at their homes, at their school or at their place of employment.  Some local businesses or local government offices may also allow you to set up a drop-off location. Each location that you would like displayed on the Donate Coats Map will need separate registrations.

Business have the advantage of including all of their customers/consumers in their drive. Everyone can participate by including one or all of the following:

  • An incentive like a special discount or coupon. You may choose to create a flyer and stuff it in customer bags 2-3 weeks before your drive advertising your offer or Include information about the drive on your register receipts.
  • An “Ask at the Register” or Point of Sale Campaign (cash collection for OWC) so all customers can participate. We have a full set of instructions and pin-ups!
  • Online Store Participation: It’s easy to add a tax free item to your online store. Each $25 donation buys, ships and delivers a coat to a child in need.

Step 2: Register Your Drive

When you are ready, you will register your coat drive with us and become an official Coat Drive Ambassador!   We will email you a Welcome Packet and provide you will access to our online store and many free tools and resources.

Here’s what you will need to know when you are ready to register:

  • Business/Retail Coat Drive: Business/Retail coat drive’s are public facing and allows a company to engage their current customers and find new ones by displaying your coat drive details on our Donate Coats map. Business/Retail drives are asked to pay a $50 fee.
  • Employee Engagement Coat Drive: A coat drive organized by employees of a company as an internal drive. If you’d like to invite other offices to get involved, be sure to create a team during the registration process.
  • Youth Led or School Coat Drive A coat drive organized by someone who is under the age of 18 (may be assisted by a parent or another adult); or by teachers, school faculty or students from pre-school aged programs thru college campuses.
  • Official One Warm Coat Nonprofit Partner Coat Drive: A drive organized by an organization that is a registered nonprofit partner of OWC, who provides direct services and goods to people in need. To become a nonprofit partner, click here.
  • All Other Individuals & Groups: These drives are organized by one person (18+) or a group (like a book club, group of friends, Rotary Club, etc.).

Each coat drive registration requires a unique email address. This email should belong to the main contact person for your coat drive If you are trying to register multiple locations and only have one email address please email

Creating or joining a team is really easy! If you are a company that has more than one office holding a coat drive, you can create a team so that all offices will be connected. Maybe you are a community drive that has several groups working together to hold a coat drive – a team would be a great fit here too. Or a school that is engaging several classroom or clubs.  The possibilities are endless if you have more than one group or location holding a drive. To create a team, the first coat drive from your group to register needs to chose “register as a team” when prompted during the registration process.  That team member will name the team.  All subsequent team members should choose “join a team” when prompted, and then scroll through the team options until they see their team name.

Any coat drive “type” can create and join teams.

If you are a business with more than 5 public-facing locations holding a coat drive, please email us before registering.

Step 3: Promote & Launch

It’s easy to promote your coat drive and let your community know you are collecting coats using the many free tools and resources provided along with your personal coat drive webpage.

  1. You will receive a link to your personal coat drive website after you register. This page allows you to promote the details of your drive and track coat and dollar donations in real time. Share this URL with your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to spread the word about your drive.
  2. Like/Follow One Warm Coat on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
  3. You will receive access many free Tools & Resources (like a goal thermometer, flyers and graphics) as well as a link to One Warm Coat’s Online Store for bigger purchases like collection bins.

Step 4: Sort, Count & Report

It’s important to check the quality of the coats you collected and count them!

Once your drive is over, sort your coats to make sure they are clean and wearable (please discard any coats that cannot be worn). Use the Delivery Tags provided to help you organize the coats before you deliver them. Consider adding pocket notes to spread extra love in each coat donation.

Report your coat totals! The report tallies, you can report your coat totals as often as you’d like. It’s so important for your impact to be counted!

  • Celebrate your coat drive by sharing pictures, videos and stories from your drive on social media: @onewarmcoat #no1cold #igavewarmth or by email at
  • Use the Celebration Press Release provided in Ambassador Resources to tell your community about the success of your drive!
  • Submit any dollar donations you’ve received online or by mail to One Warm Coat, 2443 Fillmore St, #380-5363, San Francisco, CA 94115 (please don’t mail cash!).

Step 6: Deliver

You will collect and sort coats and the Nonprofit Partner you select will get them to people in need. Please be sure that coats are clean and wearable before delivering them.

Once your drive is complete, you will decide where you will deliver the coats you collected.  Use the Nonprofit Locator Map to find an approved Nonprofit Partner near you (One Warm Coat does not pick up coats, but some partners do. Please call the partner to make arrangements).

This is not a complete list of organizations that support those in need — it is just the beginning! If you cannot find a registered agency close by, you might want to perform a Google search for “homeless assistance + your town” or take a look in your telephone directory; churches, schools and food banks often distribute coats to those in need.

We have one rule for a One Warm Coat drives — the coats must be GIVEN away!

If you would prefer to work with a nonprofit organization you already know – that’s great! Please ask them to register with One Warm Coat, so we can send more Ambassadors and coat to them.

Please contact the Nonprofit Partner you’ve selected BEFORE you deliver your coats to ensure they will be able to accept the coats, especially given the possible changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic.